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Center for Teaching Excellence


Graduate Teaching Assistant

Pedagogy Workshops and Events

In our effort to help keep faculty at the forefront of the ever evolving understanding of how students learn and what types of best practices good teachers should engage in, the CTE offers workshops and events that give faculty the building blocks they need in order to engage their students and design good courses that foster student learning.

Click on the "+" sign next to each event to see description.


February 2019

Good teaching involves creating a teaching persona, your personal teaching style that’s a balance between your authentic self and your professional self. Developing your teaching persona includes finding a personal classroom management style that’s right for you as you promote student learning. Thinking about this facet of teaching is important for new instructors and can be a helpful reflective exercise for more experienced instructors. This workshop will provide you with specific, interactive guidance and best practices on developing specific aspects of your teaching persona and style, along with helpful advice for any who are still learning to become comfortable in front of a classroom.  Register

Preparing career ready students has become an increasing topic of conversation for all involved in higher education. Instructors at USC play an integral part in fostering skills to best prepare students for the world of work. In this session, we will go over the University’s employability model that incorporates career planning, relationships, experience, academic knowledge, transferable skills and emotional intelligence. In addition, we will discuss how you can incorporate the six concepts of employability into your classroom to enhance student learning and success. We will also discuss best practices when it comes to having career conversations with students. Lastly, we will provide resources that are available for you and your students to use to make the most of their professional experience.  Register 

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.

Do you want to foster productive discussions on divisive issues in class but are worried that they will either be met with awkward silence or devolve into a shouting match? The scholarship tells us that class discussions can positively impact learning in the classroom and deeper understanding through active participation. However, the classroom is not immune to the tumult that roils the world around us. In this workshop, we discuss ways to build a practice of effective discussions over the semester so that students can meaningfully participate while practicing language and behavior that is acceptable in a scholarly environment.  Register

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE)certificate of completion.  

Creating an environment of integrity within the classroom truly takes a village. Faculty, administrators, and students all play a role in maintaining an ethical campus community. This workshop will explore preventative tools to address classroom roadblocks.  Register

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.

With this vicious political divides in the U.S., it is tempting to avoid divisive topics in the classroom. But such issues are extremely relevant to our students, and to understanding the modern world. This workshop will study techniques and strategies to address controversial topics in our courses, while at the same time maintaining an atmosphere of civility and open expression of ideas. Register

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.  

Faculty life is full of diverse duties and responsibilities that can become overwhelmingly time-consuming. There is nothing you can do to get more time. 'Multitasking' just means reducing the attention and the quality of our focus on individual tasks. Learning to control your time, however, may be a significant factor in your job success. This workshop will provide faculty with strategies of how to set clear goals for life roles, and work.  Faculty will learn how to accurately estimate how much time they will need without becoming overwhelmed of feeling guilty.  Register

Active learning within college and university learning environments has gained increased attention over the past few years. The implementation of discussions is a way in which instructors can raise the level of student engagement within their courses. Throughout this presentation, participating faculty members will get exposure to a few discussion techniques. The presentation will include strategies for facilitating discussions for face-to-face and online learning classrooms. The presenter will engage participants in a “lived experience” and encourage them to reflect on ways discussion strategies can be implanted within the context of their respective courses. There will be multiple opportunities for discussions and questions throughout and at the end of the presentation.

Attendees are encouraged to bring an outline of a class session or a course syllabus to make the application of the content presented authentic.   Register

We invite faculty, staff, and students to join us for this informal and informative conversation about expectations of career preparation in the classroom. In this workshop, students and faculty will explore common expectations when it comes to preparing and planning for a career after graduation and what role it does or should play in class. Find out from students themselves what’s working and what’s not when it comes to this crucial topic. In turn, faculty will be able to share what they expect from students. We’ll have a free lunch for everyone!  Register

The claim, “anybody can teach” has surfaced in conversation over the years. Individuals who make and/or accept this perspective generally do not understand the complexities of teaching. In addition to implementing one of more instructional strategies to promote learning, an instructor may make decisions or engage in behaviors that address nebulous issues that surface during a lesson or throughout a semester.

Within this presentation, participants will consider three ethical perspectives that may impact decisions they make during or outside of instruction. There will be opportunities for them to apply one or more of these viewpoints to address dilemmas presented in selected scenarios. There will be multiple opportunities for discussions and questions throughout and at the end of the presentation, also.

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments Register

In this workshop, we will look at lecture in two different ways: as something to be avoided and something to be utilized. We will discuss research on lectures, active learning techniques, and alternatives to lecture in both the online and face-to-face classrooms. We will then discuss the best ways to utilize lecture as a content delivery method and ways to incorporate active learning into the lecture itself.  Register

Do you sometimes look out at your class and wonder if the students are REALLY 'getting' what you're saying? Have you ever given a test or exam and been surprised that the scores were lower than you anticipated? In this workshop, tools and techniques will be shared for taking a 'temperature check' of your students' learning. Participants will be presented with quick, simple, effective ways to assess what information has been absorbed and what content needs to be restated or presented in a slightly different way to increase student learning. Whether you're teaching art history or finance, accurately evaluating your students' understanding and confusion during class will make you better able to tailor your lessons to increase learning for everyone.  Register

March 2019

In this session we will discuss the academic misconduct trends we are seeing online and in person with our students. Additionally, we will discuss how to identify and address these common violations while maintaining a productive instructor/student relationship.  Register

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  

Engaging in conflict is challenging whether you are an experienced instructor or new to your role. A likely strategy is to ignore the behavior due to our own discomfort, concern over retaliation or fear that our intervention may cause more harm or disruption. Through case study examples this workshop will explore Gerald Amada’s research from Coping with Misconduct in the College Classroom and provide participants with tangible strategies to disruptive behavior in a confident and fair manner.  Register

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  

Undergraduate students are often encouraged to think about their future careers or graduate school, yet courses typically offer few opportunities for students to explore these options in-depth. This session will describe how an undergraduate public health course in Fall 2017 provided students the chance to hear from and pose questions to a panel of masters and doctoral students who had been in their shoes only a few years earlier.

Career preparation and postgraduate education remain salient issues for undergraduate students as they strive to make connections between their courses and non-academic activities, all of which take place in a competitive job market. This session will discuss how similar panels could be incorporated into other courses, as well as implications for the day-to-day practice of teaching and student learning. This session will encourage attendees to think critically about how they can be a resource for students not only for course material or research opportunities, but also for their professional development.  Register

Teacher burnout and TA exhaustion is a major concern, just like finishing a major endurance race. Really, teaching is like triathlon and finishing the year healthy and strong is just like finishing an Ironman. This session will provide tangible tips and techniques to last the endurance race called teaching. Participants will enjoy a unique angle of looking at teaching and walk away with ideas to make teaching more engaging, inspiring, meaningful and enjoyable for all.  Register

April 2019

In this workshop, Ravindra Pogaku will share 35 years of thoughts on teaching and research and the exciting experiences he has had with student guinea pigs. The emphasis will be on how the bubbling enthusiasm of the students motivated him towards productive teaching and research in higher learning institutions. Pogaku teaching strategy is to extract the hidden talents of the budding students.

This will be an interactive session with the participants leaving the workshop with an outline of effective teaching and research techniques for a sustainable society.  Register

Are you an instructor who never actually “learned” how to write or develop a quality course syllabus?  Or do you feel your course is just not leading to the learning you expected in your students?  How can these issues be resolved?  For a quality course that engenders deep and meaningful learning, instructors need to write the syllabus from the perspective of what the student will achieve, and design realistic, meaningful outcomes and associated curriculum to do so. 

In this workshop, we will outline the framework for developing a syllabus for a course of your choosing, using the conceptual framework of “Backward Design” (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005).  We’ll discuss the importance of (and practice crafting) thoughtfully designed learning outcomes, and then work backward to develop appropriate assessments, meaningful class learning activities, and finally, determine the most effective method for teaching that activity. Other tips and advice for syllabus development, along with examples of good and bad syllabus construction, will be discussed with other participants in a small group setting.  Register

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.